In 2015, Men4Choice co-founder Oren Jacobson attended a presentation delivered by one of the country’s leading women’s reproductive rights advocates.
“I thought that Roe v. Wade was settled law. It’s not,” Oren said. “I was stunned by how little I knew about these issues and the ongoing aggressive attacks on reproductive healthcare.” In subsequent discussions the need to get more men engaged was brought to the surface and Oren was asked to help organize – thus officially launching Men4Choice in Illinois.
"I was stunned by how little I knew about these issues and the ongoing aggressive attacks on reproductive healthcare."
That presentation painted a stark picture about the draconian laws being passed by anti-choice forces around the country. Since 2010, there has been a drastic spike in efforts to limit women’s access to basic health care services, contraception, and yes, abortion. In some states there is only one doctor that can legally provide an abortion. In others, women have to drive hundreds of miles to see a physician who specializes in reproductive healthcare. Across the country, millions of women are forced to wait up to 72 hours for an abortion because extremists who control their state legislatures don’t believe women can fully comprehend their decisions without a government-enforced waiting period.
Time to Take Action
For too long, men have sat quietly by as elected officials and far right groups have waged a war on women’s reproductive rights. If we believe that all men and women are equal, then surely all deserve the right to self-determination and full control over their bodies and healthcare. That is why Men4Choice was born.
However, we recognize that the fact that an organization like this is needed is problematic. Men shouldn’t need to hear something from other men in order to listen to it, and take action. That enough of us, including likeminded or politically aligned men, haven’t listened to the women leading this movement is a symbol of the very problem our society faces in he struggle for true gender equality and reproductive justice. Our hope is to work toward a future in which an organization like this is unnecessary. Until that time, we will do our best to engage, educate, and activate men as partners in this fight.
Men4Choice, guided by our all-woman advisory board, is not meant to act as a leader in this movement. We are merely a partner and an ally. Our goal is to create an entry point where men can get engaged, get educated, and take action in support of those affected by these laws.
"Our goal is to create an entry point where men can get engaged, get educated, and take action in support of those affected by these laws."